Kathleen Hallock will be named deputy supervisor for the Town of Clarence, returning to town government four years after she retired as town supervisor.
David C. Hartzell Jr. will appoint her to the position when he becomes supervisor in January. The appointment does not require Town Board approval.
Hallock has remained a respected figure in Clarence and a sought-after endorsement by candidates for office. A conference room in Town Hall is named for her.
"The thing I love about Kathy Hallock is she always had the interests of the Town of Clarence at heart," Hartzell said. "She never pandered to the minority. She always had her eye on the majority and what was best for the citizens of the Town of Clarence, and for me, in a politician that's rare."
Hallock has a wealth of experience in town government, serving as supervisor for six years. Prior to that, she was twice elected tax receiver and was previously a bookkeeper in the town's accounting office for several years.
Hallock said she has agreed to take the deputy's role for at least one year and then will decide about whether to stay on longer.
She has met with Hartzell a couple of times as he prepares to take office. "I think he has a wonderful business background. I think that's very valuable."
Town Councilman Patrick Casilio has held the deputy's position for the past four years.
The 2012 town budget calls for the deputy supervisor to be paid $2,954. State law does not require the deputy to be a current Town Board member.
The deputy can run meetings in the supervisor's absence but cannot vote, unless that person is also a current board member, who would already have voting powers.
A deputy supervisor who is not a current board member is not without precedent. Hallock had Anne L. Case as her deputy during five of her six years as supervisor. Hallock said the deputy is helpful in attending other meetings and events when the supervisor has schedule conflicts.
At Wednesday's Town Board meeting, the board authorized a settlement stemming indirectly from a dispute over the design and construction of the town library a decade ago.
As a result of mediation, the town will receive a $775,000 payment from CNA, the insurance carrier for outside counsel hired by the town in its legal dispute with contractors involved in the construction. The statute of limitations in the case expired while the outside counsel was handling it. The funds will be applied toward repairs at the library.
This was Scott A. Bylewski's last meeting as supervisor. He cited the town's track record in "smart" growth, resolving some long-standing disputes and managing its finances.
Bylewski, a Democrat, noted that come January, all the board's members will be Republicans, and he urged the public "to provide that additional balance, that necessary voice, to ensure that everybody is fairly represented."
"I hope my call for standing up and speaking out does not fall on deaf ears," he said, "as my numerous calls for civility sometimes did."